Dear Maxy ,Please tell me when did alcoholism became a disease ? A disease is when the body is ill and not functioning properly .
According to Webster's dictionary , addiction is the quality or state of being addicted , and continues that it is a "compulsive need for and use of a habit forming substance (as heroin , nicotine , or alcohol) characterized by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal .
So why do alcoholics have a disease and those who abuse drugs are addicts ? Why do we tolerate the double standard ?
An Alcoholic's Wife
Dear Alcoholic's Wife,
In 1956 the American Medical Association decided that alcoholism is a disease. Alcoholism, according to the AMA, is a progressive and terminal disease if no intervention occurs. It leads to the break down and failure of the liver, kidneys and heart and affects the brain. There are also genetic and biological markers. They feel that alcoholism fits the definition of both mental and physical disease.
Alcoholism is classified as a 'substance abuse disorder' in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III). Mental and emotional symptoms of alcoholism exist long before the grave physical complications appear. They believe thinking of the condition as a disease diminishes the moral stigma of it and supports the idea that alcoholics aren't responsible for their behavior. And it doesn't cover social and cultural influences that may play a role in alcoholism development.
In 1988, the United States Supreme Court found that alcoholism is always the result of the alcoholics "own willful misconduct." The Supreme Court also listened to the arguments presented in favor of the 'disease' theory of alcoholism and concluded, "the inescapable fact is that there is no set agreement among members of the medical profession about the designation of alcoholism."
In conclusion, maybe the answer lies somewhere between disease and substance abuse (or addiction). They just haven't found a better term to define it.
I know it's hard to stay positive, but hang in there,
Dear Maxy ,
A dear aunt passed away about six weeks ago . Unforfortunately, I could not attend her out-of- town funeral dur to the expense and my own health issues . But I knew she loved a partular flower and I had the florist send some to the funeral home .I have heard nothing from the family , although even a short note would have been appreciated . How do I check to see whether the flowers arrived on time ? I am uncomfortable calling the family . Can I check with the florist ? Have we all lost our manners in this day and age .
Dear Dumfounded Niece ,
It can be difficult for family members to put aside their grief long enough to send thank-you notes and other acknowledgments, and it helps to have friends assist them . Yes , you can check with the florist . But there is nothing wrong with picking up the phone to call your relatives and express your condolences , share memories of your aunt and in the course of conversation , find out whether the flowers were received .
My husband and I will celebrate our 40th anniversary soon. We've sent out 100 invitations to a party , and 60 people have responded saying they will be in attendance . The final 40 people have not RSVP'd as of yet . I am nervous because my wife and I took time out to invite our friends and they will potentially cost us time and money if they don't show up . How much time do you allow for guests to respond to an invitation ?
Race Against Time
Dear Race Against Time ,
One of the biggest challenges that party planners have is that increasingly these days people do not RSVP for events . You are right to be concerned , but there are some things you can do . Start with checking with your caterer to find out when you have to give one final head count .
This is the number that is key for your budget . When you feel you are getting close to that date , if you still have a large number of people who have not responded , you may want to pick up the phone or shoot them an email to double check their status . You can tell the truth , that you have to give the caterer a final count and want to know if they are planning to attend your party . Do not pressure them to come . Simply be kind and direct .